BT bags Cheshire BDUK deal

Broadband speed

BT has bagged another deal through the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) procurement framework, this time covering Cheshire.

The deal will see BT expand its broadband network to 400,000 homes and businesses across the region.

The company has also vowed to give 96 per cent of Cheshire premises access to the broadband network by 2016, with downstream speeds of up to 80Mbps.

BT's investment in the region is part of a larger plan to stimulate economic growth. Nearly 12,000 jobs are expected to be created as a result of the work.

"The social, environmental, and economic benefits will be huge," said Cllr David Brown, deputy leader of the Cheshire East Council.

"[It will] make Cheshire one of the best connected regions in the country."

BT was awarded the contract via the BDUK framework, and is stumping up 9 million toward the deployment.

The Connecting Cheshire Partnership, a campaign group focused on bringing superfast broadband services to Cheshire, Warrington and Halton, is contributing 1.85 million to the project, while BDUK will provide 4 million in funding.

Further to this, the European Regional Development Funds has also committed to 13.6 million in funding.

Connecting Cheshire said it hopes to be in a position to announce the communities that will benefit from the first stage of the rollout by December 2013.

Bill Murphy, managing director of BT Next Generation Access, said access to superfast broadband services would help secure Cheshire's future growth.

"Cheshire has a large number of small and medium sized enterprises and a high volume of business start ups, which collectively contribute a substantial proportion of the regional economy," he said.

"The rollout of more fibre broadband will act as a powerful economic driver for these businesses."